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14th century temple in TN set for renovation

14th century temple in TN set for renovation

Author: PTI
Publication: The Hindu
Date: January 23, 2009
URL: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200901231081.htm

Neglected for over a century, an ancient Vaishnavite temple, believed to have been built by the Hoysala dynasty in the 14th century at a village near here, is finally getting a facelift, fulfilling the dreams of generations of its residents.

As per inscriptions and records,the temple at Gopurappatti village, 15 km from here, was renovated by Hoysala King Veeravallalan III in 1342 and is believed to have provided refuge to Vaishnavites who fled Srirangam,one of South India's most important temple towns near here, fearing attacks by invaders in 1323.

But as the temple had not come under the control of the government or under any Mutt, it became a victim of neglect over the years and no worship was offered for a century.

Exposed to the vagaries of nature,the temple had suffered extensive damage and is in a dilapidated condition. Even the idol of the presiding deity, similar to that in the famous Lord Renganathar temple in Srirangam, was found broken into pieces. Its four "gopurams" (towers) and the perimetre wall have caved in. According to the villagers, several attempts to renovate the temple over the years failed to bear fruit.

Finally, in April last the residents formed a renovation committee and set out on the task of restoring the temple to its past glory at an estimated cost of Rs one crore, to be collected through donations from devotees.

As a first step, the refurbished 4.5 tonne granite idol of the presiding deity, Lord Aathi Nayaga Perumal, sculpted at Okkarai village near here, was installed at the sanctum sanctorum on Wednesday.

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